“Top Chef” Wine and Whine

I dunno about you, but this season’s “Top Chef” on Bravo TV has got to be one of the least engaging and exhilarating ones in the history of the show.

To be sure, it would be hard to beat the sheer excitement and mad skills of last season’s cast, which included the dueling Voltaggio brothers, Bryan and Michael, as well as the likable Kevin Gillespie and the kick-ass Jennifer Carroll.

This season? It’s not only been hard to keep the cast members straight in my head, but none of the food created has really proved memorable, either. What’s up with that?

Sigh. Guess I’ll just have to drown my sorrows in a glass of “Quickfire Chardonnay.”

Yes, indeed, there is a line of “Top Chef” wines, which also includes a Cabernet Sauvignon. But natch!

My bottle of 2008 Chardonnay was a gift from my friend, Barry, who is also a “Top Chef” fan. (Barry, if you’re reading, a big thank you!) He never misses a show. And I can count on a hilariously snarky comment in my email box the next day from him after a particularly “what was he/she thinking” moment on the show the night before.

You’re probably wondering: Just how good could a wine be that was created for a reality TV show, right?

To start, these are both affordable, Napa Valley-made wines ($18.99 each). So, they’ve got that going for them. The Chardonnay, which I tasted, was actually nicely balanced. It was not excessively popcorn-y like so many over-oaked Chardonnays. There was vanilla, but also minerality. It’s a full-bodied wine that holds up well to fish and chicken dishes.

Alas, I think I’m enjoying it much more than this season’s show, too.

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  • Agreed. This season has been awfully lame in every respect. I’ll have to drink more wine to get me through it.

  • So glad you said that. I am bored out of my mind. Are they running out of chefs? Or are the smart ones staying away so they don’t get dumped in the first round?

  • You’re most welcome, of course. As for the show, I was hoping they’d catch Amanda relapsing into a coke binge before she got the boot, just to make it interesting. Alas…

  • I totally agree about how lame this year’s competition is! Even the judging isn’t that interesting.

  • I doubt “Top Chef” will be able to repeat its Emmy win. So who makes their wine? Is it a Napa Valley winery?

  • Hah! Good to know. I haven’t watched the show in ages…it bored me even before this season.

  • I actually haven’t gotten into this season’s Top Chef, and now I’m glad! The wine sounds delicious though. 🙂

  • I agree, this season has been a bust! I have a backlog of them on my dvr and can’t ever seem to drum up enough interest to watch them. Maybe if I get some wine it will put me in the mood.

  • i could not agree more. this season i have had more than one “why am i watching this again?” moments. but i am anxiously awaiting the start of TC:Just Desserts!

  • We don’t get Top chef here but apparently they won an Emmy? Must be for the past seasons!

  • I think it might be hard to beat Season 6. Those chefs were just in a whole other level. After the whole pea puree incident; it just got worse!

  • i’ve been so disappointed with this season, especially since the last elimination. i was really pulling for her! now i have no one.

  • So true about this season. I keep losing interest and not even watching whole episodes. Interesting that a tv show has a wine label. I wonder how well it will sell.?

  • Edda: OMG, the whole pea puree thing was just outrageous, wasn’t it? Worse, they never resolved it. How hard would it have been to have someone double-check the two kitchens afterward to figure out if it had been left behind? Or to double-check those Whole Food receipts to see if two people or only one bought peas? Leaving it unanswered just means either someone really was a thief or that person is being slandered.

  • That is too funny that the wine inspired by the show is trending better! Maybe experiencing the personality of thw wine up close and personal makes the difference. The TV doesn’t project the “who” of food competition shows in that first hand way. I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I’d sure give the wine a shot.

    Much thanks for the introduction to another wine for “the list”.


  • I sadly agree about the snooze factor. The dishes also seem to lack flavor, focus and inspiration!! Almost wish I drank wine. Seems to be the only thing anyone is excited about this season!!!!

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